Hymn #492: I Would Be True
Joseph Yates Peek (1843-1911) became acquainted with Howard Walker one summer while the young minister was substituting at Peek’s church in Brooklyn, New York. Although Peek was not a trained musician, he felt that Walter’s poem would be an inspiring hymn and composed this melody, now known as PEEK. As organist harmonized it from Peek’s whistled version.
Joseph Y. Peek, born in Schenectady, New York, on February 28, 1843, was a florist for over twenty years. He left this work to become a lay preacher in the Methodist-Episcopal Church. Peek’s dream of being ordained was realized only two months before his death, on March 17, 1911, in Brooklyn, New York.